Solons urge the imposition of death penalty against foreign drug traffickers

The House Committee on Dangerous Drugs has reported for plenary
action a bill imposing death penalty to foreign nationals who are
arrested in the country for drug trafficking.

House Bill 4510 authored by Reps. Rufus Rodriguez (2nd District,
Cagayan de Oro City) and Maximo Rodriguez Jr. (Party-list, Abante
Mindanao) seeks to amend Republic Act 9165 otherwise known as the
Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. The law prohibits the
imposition of the death penalty in the Philippines.

“While the intention in passing the law was very clear and noble,
there are some sectors of society who believe that this law is not
just and equitable,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said foreign drug syndicates are now establishing their
area of operations in the Philippines because the penalty for drug
trafficking is only life imprisonment.

“They are now emboldened to establish their drug factories in the
Philippines, because if they are arrested and convicted, they only
suffer life imprisonment as compared to the penalties that they may
suffer in other countries which, in some cases like in China, is
death,” Rodriguez said.

“There is a need to amend our laws to ensure that foreign nationals
caught violating our laws on drugs will also be convicted with the
harshest penalties that their national law imposes,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said there have been constant reports of foreign nationals,
including Chinese nationals, being caught selling drugs and operating
drug dens and laboratories in the country.

“Once they are caught and convicted, the penalty that our local
courts may impose is only life imprisonment,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said some Filipinos who were accused of being drug mules
were already meted the death penalty in China but the Chinese
nationals who were apprehended for drug trafficking in the Philippines
were only imprisoned for life, with a chance to be pardoned.

Rodriguez cited the execution of three Filipinos in China namely
Elizabeth Batain, Sally Villanueva and Ramon Credo who were meted the
death penalty after being caught for drug trafficking.

Rodriguez said there is no reason to question the laws of foreign
countries; the country’s laws however, must ensure that Filipinos do
not suffer the short end of the stick.

Under the bill, If the violator of any of the provisions of the
proposed act is an alien, the penalty to be imposed shall be the
penalty prescribed by their national law for the act committed or the
penalty prescribed by the measure, whichever is higher, provided, that
if the act committed is not punishable in their national law, then the
provisions of this proposed act shall apply.

The bill provides that where the death penalty is not imposed, in
addition to the penalties prescribed in the unlawful act committed,
any alien who violates any provision of the proposed act shall, after
service of sentence, be deported immediately without further
proceedings.

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